Except for those years when the normal schedule was interrupted by the Civil and World Wars, the International Convention was held every year since 1853. The first convention was called in 1836.
The Convention is composed of one delegate elected from each undergraduate chapter and alumni organization, each delegate being entitled to one vote. Each August, the Convention is hosted by a chapter and presided over by an Honorary Chairman, both of which are chosen by the previous Convention.
The Convention hears annual reports from the Governors, approve the International's budget, decides constitutional questions and has appellate jurisdiction over the decisions of the Board of Governors and the Chapters.
Between the business and leadership training sessions, Conventions are characterized by considerable socializing. Brothers from all over the continent get acquainted, swap stories and songs, and raise a glass in the spirit of brotherhood. Whether as a voting delegate or an observer, all brothers are encouraged to attend a Convention at some time.